Laravel - The future of PHP apps

24 March
  • php, laravel

laravel logo Over my career as a web developer, I have unsurprisingly worked with PHP quite a bit and used my fair share of PHP frameworks. I’ve developed custom PHP apps, large scale Drupal products and I’ve configured and customised WordPress blogs.

Recently, I built a full web app using Laravel project for the CUP. I have to say that it was a pleasantly surprising experience.

The fact that I was coming from Rails meant that a lot of the concepts were familiar. Laravel, to its credit, has picked the best features, process and practices from other frameworks. This makes for a very nice framework. For me, the stand out features were:

  • the routing,
  • the interactive command line console (à la rails console),
  • a manageable testing framework,
  • a dependency manager and an Rails-style MVC hierarchy.

All things that I haven’t be accustomed to when using PHP frameworks in the past.

I did my local development with Vagrant and hosting is very easy to manage through Forge. Forge is a halfway house between Heroku and self-hosting. It allows you to choose your server provider (e.g. DigitalOcean, Linode, …) and manages the deployment for you. At the time, it had only just been released but it was very impressive.

For most web apps, I would still choose Rails over Laravel due to the fact that I enjoy developing using Ruby a whole lot more than PHP. If PHP is important to my client, Laravel is an ideal choice in my mind.

If you’re a PHP developer and you haven’t checked it out yet, you must.